10 Most Notorious Hackers In History

Wednesday - 5 December, 2017

Hackers come in three different hats: black, white, and gray. But the black hat hackers always seem to get the most notoriety for their mischievous deeds. Black hats use viruses, malware, phishing scams, and anything to boost their cred or their pocket book. When they’re successful, they usually end up on the news and force you to change your passwords. But who among them are the elite? Here are 10 Most Notorious Hackers In History.

10 Anonymous

Known for wearing Guy Fawkes masks, Anonymous is not one cohesive group, but a fluid movement with no leader or hierarchy. If anything, it’s a loose organization of hackers and protesters pushing for change through non-violent means, including hacktivism. Many of the hackers associated with Anonymous, however, have been arrested for several cyber crimes.

9 Gary McKinnon

While some hackers break into systems to get money, Gary McKinnon was on another quest – finding UFO information from the government. In the 1990’s, he got his first computer and later received certification in computers. Between 2001 to 2002, McKinnon hacked into several US government agencies, including several NASA computer systems. He claims to have found documentation proving the existence of UFO’s and extraterrestrials. The US sought extradition to be tried in their courts, but the UK denied the request and would not seek charges against him, making him a free man.

8 Lizard Squad

Lizard Squad is a black hat hacking group notorious for bringing down Playstation and Xbox gaming networks in 2014. At one point, they claimed to have nude photos of Taylor Swift. They also have taken down Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and a UK government site. Their main hacking method is DDoS, or Distributed Denial of Service, where hundreds of different IP addresses send a mass amount of data to servers, bringing it down.

7 James Kosta

At the age of 14, James Kosta faced 45 years of jail time for his hacking conquests into major banking systems, GE, and IBM. Fortunately for him, a judge gave him a break and Kosta took advantage of it, completely turning his life around. When he was released, he worked for the CIA, and at the age of 24, he created his own multi-million dollar video game company, 3G Studio, Inc.

6 John McAfee

John McAfee was a white hat hacker, working in the early days of computing and later building his computer virus protection business, McAfee. His business came to notoriety when it announced the Michelangelo virus could infect five million computers. However, he left the company eventually and sold all his shares for $100 million. Right now, most of his wealth is gone; he’s reportedly been up to no good in Belize.

5 Michael Calce

Known by the name Mafiaboy, Michael Calce essentially helped write several cybercrime laws, but not how you might think. At the age of fifteen, he brought down the internet during its infancy. He took down the likes of Amazon, Yahoo!, Dell, eBay, CNN, and others. Eventually caught, he was sentenced to eight months in a youth group home. Now, he’s turned his black hat over to a white hat and helps others find vulnerabilities in computer systems.

4 The Syrian Electronic Army

Coming to the scene in 2011, the Syrian Electronic Army was a group of hackers intent on protecting and helping Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. Using every trick in the book like DDoS, malware, website defacement, and phishing, the hacker group targeted anyone neutral or against Al-Assad.

3 David L. Smith

David L. Smith created the “Melissa Virus,” a dangerous email virus in 1996 that struck thousands of email systems. At the time, it was considered one of the worst virus attacks of its kind. Smith was arrested by the FBI and sentenced to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

2 Max Ray Butler

Max Ray Butler, also known as Iceman, is a black hat hacker that hacked credit card information centers, stealing 1.8 million credit card numbers and $86.4 million. He was convicted in 2010 and sentenced to 13 years in prison. He was also forced to pay restitution of $27.5 million.

1 Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev

Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev, or Lucky12345, is currently wanted by the FBI with a bounty of $3 million on his head. He’s a notorious Russian hacker who uses phishing, malware, and viruses to skim bank account information from computers. Due to his exploits, financial losses so far have racked up to $100 million.

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